FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German lender Commerzbank <CBKG.DE> has poached a senior executive of its larger rival Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> to assume the role of chief executive, filling a leadership vacuum after months of turmoil.
Manfred Knof, head of Deutsche Bank’s retail business in Germany, will assume the top spot at Germany’s No. 2 lender on Jan. 1.
He succeeds Martin Zielke, who resigned this summer in the wake of a revolt led by the private equity investor Cerberus, one of the lender’s largest shareholders who was pressing for big changes at the bank.
The appointment allows Commerzbank to move forward with a new strategic plan that was put on hold until a new leader was found. The bank is looking at branch closures and shedding international staff to save costs.
Hans-Joerg Vetter, chairman of Commerzbank’s supervisory board since last month, has told employees that the lender is not a “restructuring